Night at the Opera II

I was a little suspicious when Ed told me to try on the new oven mitts. he had just given me for my birthday. But I put one on anyway. “Buka Buka!” I said, making my mitt talk to my giggling girls.

“You’d better try on the other one, too, just in case!” Ed said. Okaaaaay…now I was more than a little suspicious! So I tried on the other oven mitt, and pulled out two tickets to the opera! I guess he was serious last year when he told me he would go to the opera again.

When the day of the opera finally arrived, I looked into the mirror and carefully applied eye liner. I had to laugh that while I was preparing to go listen to Verdi’s Aida, my children were blasting Taylor Swift’s CD in my bedroom.

As Ed and I sat in our car on the Kennedy, we could see the Chicago skyline glistening in the late afternoon sun. But we weren’t getting any closer to our destination; we were stuck in gridlock traffic! We could have taken the ‘L’, but getting onto a dirty train dressed in our opera finery was not appealing.

We finally arrived at the restaurant, 30 minutes late. Fortunately, there was still a table for us. When our food was served, I took a bite right away…I was starving! When Ed said his seafood stew looked so pretty, I had to have him take a picture…it did look pretty! (It was called something much fancier on the menu, but I will never be able to remember what it was. Seafood stew will have to do.)

Ed's seafood stew

It was a lovely evening and we strolled hand-in-hand to the Lyric Opera House. The vestibule was full of people trying to get in; men were out front holding up fingers for the number of tickets they needed. Aside from the tuxedos and heels, it was almost like a sporting event.

We made it to our seats, and the music began. Ah! It was so beautiful! Hearing a live orchestra is so wonderful; the singers were amazing; the whole experience…amazing! I don’t even want to try to find a recording to share with you, because it just wouldn’t be the same as a live performance.

Aidahas four acts, and there were two intermissions. Part of the fun of going to the opera is people watching; we saw men in tuxedos and T-shirts; women in furs; some fabulous dresses and some not so fab.

View from the Mezzanine
View from the Mezzanine

We both came home with stars in our eyes. *sigh*

If you were able to go to an opera or musical, what would you like to see?


One Wedding, Two Honeymoons

Spin Cycle at Second Blooming

It is highly frowned upon for teachers to take a vacation during the school year. In fact, it just doesn’t happen. So even though Ed and I decided to get married in October, we didn’t take our full-blown honeymoon until my Spring Break. Which ended up being very practical for reasons I will explain in just a minute.

Ed and I were married on October 12, 2002. It was a beautiful Columbus Day weekend, and since I had no school on Monday, we spent two days in downtown Chicago for our first honeymoon. We acted as tourists during that weekend, even though we live only a few miles away from the Loop. We had dinner at the top of the Hancock building in the Signature Room. We rode on the Ferris wheel at Navy Pier. We swam in the swimming pool on the top floor of our hotel. And we walked along the shore of Lake Michigan, holding hands.

View of the skyline from the top of the ferris wheel on Navy Pier
Chicago Harbor Lighthouse

Delaying our honeymoon for a few months gave me time to legally change my last name, and we both were able to get passports in plenty of time. One of my mom’s friends was a travel agent, and she was able to help us get a great deal on a Caribbean cruise. Instead of just sitting on the ship, we tried to pack as much as we could into the days at port. In Jamaica, we signed up for river tubing, but we wanted to do something else as well. So we jumped into a taxi and went to climb Dunn’s River Falls. Once we got there, it seemed very disorganized and we didn’t quite know where to go. A tour guide was shouting out “Couples over here!” so I grabbed Ed’s hand and pulled him over. We were a couple, right? Then it dawned on me that “Couples” was the name of a resort on Jamaica! We tagged along for the climb up the Falls anyway. The weather was not what we had expected for Jamaica. It was a cloudy and chilly day. The water was so cold!

Climbing Dunn's River Falls in Jamaica

After climbing the Falls, we caught up with the tour group we were supposed to be in, and took a taxi up a mountain to go tubing. The driver drove those mountainous roads a little fast and every time he came to a curve, instead of slowing down, honked the horn loudly! We miraculously made it up to the river, and leisurely floated down. Even though the day was not warm, we were in Jamaica, mon! Somewhere along the way, we bought jerk chicken at a roadside stand. It was good, but both Ed and I thought the taste must have been toned down for tourists. It pretty much tasted like roasted chicken we would buy in the U.S.

At another port, we explored the Mayan ruins in Tulum, Mexico. The weather was much better in Mexico. Strolling along the ruins, we saw iguanas sunning themselves on top of the rocks. The ocean shone below, the water gleaming in various shades of blue. It was a beautiful place.

Mayan Ruins in Tulum, Mexico

During our last day at sea, we spent the day wandering the boat, trying every activity that we could. We skated in the ice skating rink and played mini-golf. Ed went on the rock climbing wall, which I was too chicken to try.

Ed made it to the top. Woot!

Upgrading to a room with a balcony hadn’t been that expensive. It was our honeymoon, after all!

What a way to enjoy a morning cup o' joe!

I still remember waiting on the ship, waiting for our number to be called to get on the shuttle to the Miami airport. I was feeling rather blue; our honeymoon was over. But the next few years of marriage were full of happiness. Now, coming up to our tenth anniversary, I can definitely say that I was wrong. The honeymoon isn’t over.

The four of us at Christmas, 2011

For more honeymoon stories, visit Gretchen at Second Blooming!